Sat | Jun 12, 2021

Jamaican boxer heading to Tokyo Olympics

Published:Thursday | June 10, 2021 | 12:16 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Jamaican boxer Ricardo Brown (left) moves away from a Cristian Salcedo punch to Ricardo Brown during the second round of their men’s 91 kg semi-final boxing match at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, July 30, 2019.
Jamaican boxer Ricardo Brown (left) moves away from a Cristian Salcedo punch to Ricardo Brown during the second round of their men’s 91 kg semi-final boxing match at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, July 30, 2019.

After months of speculation, General Secretary of the Jamaica Boxing Board (JBB) Leroy Brown has confirmed that boxer Ricardo ‘Big 12’ Brown will represent Jamaica in the super heavyweight division at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Brown told The Gleaner that the JBB received confirmation of Ricardo’s participation in writing from the International Olympic Committee boxing task force yesterday.

“A lot of rumours have been going around, but we have now been confirmed in writing that he (Brown) will be one of the boxers in the super heavyweight division at the Olympic Games,” said the JBB’s Brown.

The boxer was selected by the international authorities due to his fourth-placed ranking in the Americas region, after the qualification competition, which was set for Argentina earlier this year, was cancelled due to COVID-19-related complications.

“People have been calling and asking about him, and we have told them, ‘Well, look. We have a board and have not had any confirmation’, but I can now say that we have had the confirmation and people can look out for him at the Olympic Games,” Brown added.

The administrator noted that Brown would be the country’s lone participant in the boxing competition at the Olympic Games.

“We are very ecstatic because we haven’t had a boxer at the Olympics since the Los Angeles Games in 1984,” he said.

“You will recall that Mike McCallum had gone to the Moscow Olympics in 1980, and while in the village, he had appendicitis and did not participate, and so this is something we have been looking forward to for a very long time, and it has now come to fruition,” Brown said.

Brown, who is based in Canada, has been working towards qualification to the Olympic Games, and the general secretary noted that the JBB has high expectations for the boxer in Tokyo.

“We have great expectations for him because the thing in boxing is the luck of the draw that prevails,” Brown said. “We are just hoping, that apart from his talent, he can just show what he has been training for, for the past few years by taking home a medal at the Olympic Games for Jamaica.”

Christopher Samuda, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association, said that his organisation is delighted that Brown has been given the nod to represent the country in boxing in Tokyo.

“We are absolutely pleased with the qualification of Ricardo,” said Samuda.“He is an athlete that has put in the necessary work. He has the commitment, he has the conviction, and most importantly, he wants to do the best for his country.”

“We are wishing him all the best at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan,” Samuda added.

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com